Zardari ’spurns’ Cameron’s invitation

August 5th, 2010 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Aug 5 (IANS) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who is on a visit to Britain, has rejected an offer of hospitality at British Prime Minister David Cameron’s coun­try house, saying he is too busy.
Zardari turned down the invitation to spend a night at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, as the diplo­matic row continued over his coun­try’s approach to tackling terrorism, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

But he will visit Chequers for dinner Thursday evening for informal talks with Cameron, which are set to be dominated by the British leader’s assertion last week that Pakistan is “exporting terror”, the report said.

Zardari will then travel back to his hotel in London before returning to Chequers tomorrow for for­mal talks with Cameron.

Cameron’s comments, made during a visit to India last week, have unleashed fury in Pakistan and angered some members of Britain’s million-strong British Pakistani community.

Pakistani sources have said the president will use this week’s talks to “educate” Cameron on the suffering that terrorism has caused to his country.

Downing Street Wednesday denied Zardari had snubbed the prime minister. A source said the decision not to stay at Chequers was due to a “diary clash”.

But Zardari, who is already facing fierce criticism over his decision to continue his tour of Europe at a time when Pakistan has suffered dev­astating floods, is under intense pres­sure at home to demonstrate his anger over Cameron’s comments.

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